The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • Good morning. Before I take appearances, may I inquire why the central curtain is down, Madam Court Officer?

  • Your Honour, we are advised by the AV booth that there appears to be a technical problem with the central blind and they are trying to see if it can be fixed from the booth, preferably. For now, nothing can be done about it, unfortunately.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • Your Honour, it is electronically regulated. It is taken up by a set of switches.

  • [Microphone not activated]. This is less than desirable, but in the circumstances there is not much that we can do. We need to keep this trial going. I will now take appearances.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution, Brenda J Hollis, Mohamed A Bangura and our case manager, Maja Dimitrova.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Terry Munyard of counsel.

    Madam President, can I make this observation: I am concerned that the public at large may take the view that there is some reason associated with the defendant for the blinds being down and perhaps if could be stated on the record that it's a technical issue and it has nothing to do with any measure taken to disguise the identity of the accused.

  • Certainly. Thank you, Mr Griffiths.

    For the members of the public sitting in the gallery, you will note that the curtain immediately behind Mr Taylor is down. That would normally be the position where a witness is testifying in a closed or private session. Actually, Mr Taylor is testifying in open session and the reason for the curtain being down is that there is a technical fault. This curtain has not been able to be put up again. This is reasons beyond our own control and so that is why you cannot see Mr Taylor. We really hope that this will be fixed quickly because there is going to come a time when witnesses need to come in and have a proper open session or a proper closed session. We need this curtain fixed.

  • Your Honour, we do apologise on behalf of the Registry and the directive of the Chamber will be conveyed to the appropriate parties.

  • Yes, because, you see, we are obligated under the rules to conduct an open and public trial and this is now not an open and public trial with a curtain screening off a third of the court. This is less than desirable. And I would instruct the Registrar to ensure that this is addressed speedily, please.

  • Much obliged, your Honour.

  • Mr Taylor, just to remind you of your declaration to tell the truth before Mr Griffiths continues.